Why does the top of my foot hurt?

I’ve googled and the answers I find seem to relate to chronic or accident-induced pain. That’s not the issue here - I least I don’t think it is.

Yesterday, my husband and I spent almost 3 hours walking around at a motorcycle show - mainly on concrete flooring or pavement outdoors. I was wearing walking shoes with (I believe) good arch support, and I didn’t have them tied too tightly. And while I do work at a desk, I also go to the gym 3-4 times a week and either use the treadmill or the stationary bikes, so I’m not a total lump.

When I woke this morning and got out of bed, my feet felt as if someone whacked the tops with a substantial mallet. It’s as if both feet are severely bruised, but there’s no discoloration. I didn’t trip or drop anything on them, and I also spent about 5 hours sitting in the car yesterday between going to and coming home from the motorcycle show, so I did get to rest them.

Unless it persists a few more days or it becomes impossible to walk, I see no reason to go to the Dr, assuming someone here doesn’t convince me I have foot cancer or onset metatarsal deterioration or something equally dire. Mostly, I’m curious as to why I hurt like this. Is this just something that happens when you get old and start to fall apart? I am 60 after all… :wink:

I’m not a doctor by any stretch, but…

Mrs. Burpo stepped on one of those concrete parking space car stopper dealies, once. When she came down, the top of her foot was very painful. Weeks later, still hurting, she went to the doctor who X-rayed and found several tiny cracks across the top of the foot. Similar to shin splints. She has to wear a soft cast fairly often, as it recurs frequently. Probably not the same thing, but…

Do not trifle with your feet. You do not want your face hurtling towards the concrete parking lot surface at warp speed if your foot gives out suddenly. Which happened to Mrs. Burpo’s mother. Mrs. Burpo’s dad almost went to jail for spousal abuse. Somehow the cops were convinced otherwise.

Mrs. Burpo is 49. Ouch, stop hitting me.

Sorry for the scare.

I definitely will go to the Dr if the pain doesn’t subside in a few days. It just strikes me as odd that I’d be in such pain after merely walking, not tripping or stumbling, not even climbing stairs or walking on rough terrain. And especially on top of the feet. Of course, I’m an engineer, not a podiatrist, so what do I know from foot function…

Incidentally, your description of your MIL falling face down gave me the heebie-jeebies!! :eek:

I’ve had occasional pain on the top of one foot for years, but gradually it’s morphed into a chronic pain. There’s a blood vessel that goes from the space next to the big toe, almost to the ankle, and that’s where the pain is. I’ve recently started putting Salonpas on it, replacing it once a day, and it helps. Not tying laces too tight also helps.

Back in my running days, I had pain on the top of one of my feet that had me baffled. While trying to massage it to help it out, I ended up digging my fingers into my arch which made it feel better. I think that my old running shoes had lost enough support that my arches were falling a bit, which put pressure on the top of the foot. I bought new running shoes that helped greatly, aided by extra arch massage and stretching.

That’s my story. It may or may not have anything to do with the OP.

Since I retired my pain has subsided but I always felt that the pain was similar to carpal tunnel. I know it can be horribly painful. My xrays never showed any kind of problem but the pain lasted for the last several years I worked.

**mcgato **- I suppose it’s possible that my walking shoes aren’t as supportive as I’d thought. I wonder if I can get supplemental supports to go over what’s already there??

If I haven’t done much walking in a while or am walking in unsupportive shoes, I get a huge pain on the top of my left foot. Not my right foot for some reason. The arch issue would make sense for me as I do need arch support. Also, I severely sprained the left ankle many years ago and that did include the top of the foot. It often gives me trouble so now I am sure to buy shoes with good arch support (ugly though they may be).


Hope this helps–

Mrs. Burpo orders “Spenco” arch supports from a company called FootSmart. They’re very rigid plastic, different lengths, you’ll see. Her foot doctor recommended them. She has to replace them a few times a year (nothing lasts forever), but she swears by them.

Good luck.

Did you tie your laces too tight? That can cause the pain you are talking about - also exacerbate shin splints

Seconding spenco inserts. My orthopedist recommended them when I stress fractured my heel. I do only wear them in my running shoes, but they would easily fit most walking shoes. I got mine on amazon.


Tight laces: in an office
half as tight: walking up to a mile
half as tight as that: True Walking

Put your shoes back on and walk in them. I’ll bet the pain is where the leather gave/creased as you walked.

I try not to tie my shoes too tightly, but it’s possible that my feet swelled up with all the walking, giving the net effect of too tight. Today my feet felt just about normal, so I’m guessing I didn’t do any permanent damage. I was wearing a different pair of walking shoes today and I did notice that there didn’t seem to be a lot of support.

Thanks for the info on spenco - I’ll check it out. Here’s hoping that’s all it’ll take.

The doctor tells me I got the Arthur Itis. Makes my feet stiffen up and hurt.

Could be gout.

Perhaps It was strain from walking on the flat concrete surface all the time ,there was no variance of the action.
You did the same action over and over again
What can make it worse ?

Perhaps because you are in a crowd you would tread carefully with tense muscles.

Perhaps the walking shoes had too much shock absorber or grip in the sole for this use… If you were holding your feet tense to avoid the issues with shoes made for power walking.

These were definitely not power walking shoes - just some comfy Reeboks. Anyway, after a couple of days of rest, the pain was gone. From what I’ve read and what has been suggested here, I’m inclined to think the lack of good arch support was the main culprit. It’s also possible that my feet swelled up some and made the shoes too tight. I’m thinking I need to go to a real shoe store and have someone who knows shoes and feet fix me up with walking shoes that have good support.

Thanks to all for your input!

One last thing, FCM: I’m sure you, and anybody else reading this, knows the human body is the craziest construct on the planet–your trouble might be a one time, unexplainable event, like the time I went to back up the car and a muscle in the dead center of my back seized up–I’ve never had back trouble of any kind (knock wood) and there was no indicator of impending pain, just HI! HOW ARE YA? OUCH!–and I couldn’t move for 5 days :eek:. It never occurred again. I looked pretty stoopid with my arms frozen in that position, too :rolleyes:.